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Lirianna
User: lirianna
Name: Lirianna
if you're bored...
"Are you going to the grave with unlived lives in your veins?" -- Justine Last in The Good Girl
Liri's journal @}->->------
...look in my face, stare in my soul...
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Okay, I need to vent for a second on the much-beaten topic of throwing away or disposing of food for spiritual offerings.

Yes, this writing is from a very newbie position in the pagan/Heathen world. No, I don't think it makes my opinion on it irrelevant.

I am one of those people that believes that putting food out for birds or squirrels or any other of nature's creatures is a good thing. I suppose if I was purposely throwing a side of beef into the yard, then I would feel wasteful if I didn't have carnivorous animals nearby that I knew would benefit, but I am not and I don't. I have been ripping up and throwing old bread into my yard and bushes for years now.

Does this mean that I am not truly poor? Probably. Do I feel poor? Yes, because of our ridiculously exorbitant cell phone and cable TV bills... each only eclipsed by our monthly mortgage payment. Does this make my viewpoint on this topic irrelevant? I don't think so.

Have I ever been truly poor? Yes. As a young person, I have lived in what I would consider 'the hood' and in a building with no running water and no heat... and once I chose to continue living in a building that was condemned after a fire broke out in it and all the utilities were shut off. I only left when we were threatened with being bodily removed. Did I still leave food or water or drink for the nature around me? Yes, whenever I thought of it.... which admittedly wasn't as often since my focus was so much on myself and not so much on the amazing world around me, let alone anything spiritual.

I guess what makes my thoughts on this whole topic rather useless in some people's eyes is that I have *never* been so hungry that I felt that eating a half-inch section of bread crust was the pivotal choice that decided if I lived or died.

I also do not think that throwing that half-inch crust of bread into the yard or bushes is wasteful.

Do I think that offerings are required in a devotional practice? ..... This is where I founder. Not sure yet. Since I am just now deciding what feels right to me, the jury is still out and my opinion has not been formed. Since I am not a "truly poor person" I am incorporating offerings of food and drink into in my baby steps of trying to incorporate this religion into my daily life. So... since I have a half-inch crust of bread to give daily with whatever reverent words come to mind, it will probably feel right to me as I move forward.

On the flip-side of that, I feel spiritual just communicating with the gods with no offering of any sort.... so.................. yeah. Not sure if the word "required" really fits. Do I think the gods appreciate it? Probably. Do I think they demand it? No. I think they know our internal motivations and thoughts and level of sincere effort no matter what actions we actually manage to do.

So...... to all those who like to condemn or gripe, know that your motivations are already well known by those that matter, even if you continue telling yourself the opposite.
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I am quiet right now... though I should be otherwise...
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Okay, more clicking, more reading... more things I find that I feel the urge to post and capture for my own sake.

I am not really even sure what Humanist Paganism is (nor do I feel the desire to spend the time researching and finding out exactly what it is), but I found this article interesting:

Humanist Paganism on the Rise?

The article was written in August, 2012. And then I found these two gems in the comments:

"The U.S. is full of cultural Christians. They go to church on Easter, have Christian weddings and funerals, and celebrate Christmas. They call themselves Christians but don't really believe all the dogma; they often do not even know the majority of the articles of faith they are supposed to be practicing, etc. I celebrate Christmas as a cultural holiday. I'm fine with others' decisions not to tho."

"and as both a Buddhist and a Pagan I can say that Buddhists have no problem with people also being Christian, Muslim or Jewish. In fact there are many somewhat "famous" American Buddhist Zen Masters who also practicing Jews. Unfortunately, it is the fanatical Christians and Muslims who have a problem with people practicing other "religions"."

Amen to both statements which are *right on* in my opinion.

I really wanted to post the first one on my Facebook, but... didn't feel like offending or riling up any of my less-than-open-minded Christian friends... they are all good people... I didn't friend them on FB for their intelligence. Nor do I want to insult anyone. So.... LJ gets it.
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I know I said that I really didn't want to spend my time today reading crap on the internet... and in a sense I have managed it so far since I am no longer trying to find the pulse of the pagan community in regards to Krasskova.

However, I am still reading the internet... this time I am just seeking things of worth to read. I found this:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

After reading that, I feel a whole lot safer in my spiritual fumblings than I did before I read that.

A frozen butterball. Wow. Just... wow.
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Please, please, please let tomorrow *not* be about reading more and more drivel from the pagan community about its soap opera problems.

I have shit to do.
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Lore vs. UPG

Okay, I realize that anyone with a brain already knows this.... but...

RELIGIOUS LORE IS JUST WRITTEN-DOWN UPG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Duh.
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Preparation for an Ancestor 101 Class with Galina Krasskova

Recommended Reading:
1. Spiritual Protection: A Safety Manual for Energy Workers, Healers, and Psychics Paperback by Sophie Reicher
2. Weaving Memory: A Guide to Honoring the Ancestors Paperback by Laura Patsouris

I am preparing to take an Ancestor 101 class early next year (when I have the $$ to spend and won't feel such monumental amounts of guilt at spending so much on an intangible thing just for myself). Above are the recommended books, which I purchased for myself ahead of time so that I can read them and actually absorb and process the contents prior to the start of the class.

I read the Spiritual Protection book first and have incorporated the breathing technique into my daily routine. It is not as easy to stick to it as I thought it would be, but I am plugging away at it. When first trying it, I completely understood and grasped the centering process and even the grounding sensation and imagery. Since that first day, however, I find myself too distracted by other thoughts to stick with it long enough to feel the grounding sensation. I shall not give up, though, and have continued to do it at least once each day. Hopefully, it will become easier with time as the book indicates. One interesting thing to note is that at one point Reicher says that centering needs to be done for at least 6 months before attempting grounding. And then I think warding or shielding not until a year had passed. I need to go get the book again and find those passages. I think I may just re-read the whole thing again and take the time to mark the things that I want to remember. My problem with it, as with all instruction/skill books such as this, is that my first instinct is to read a book from start to finish. However, that doesn't always work when the author is describing a new technique that it takes time to master. Taking a 6-month pause when reading a book is an incredibly long time, let alone a year. I read the book as far as I felt I could read it without feeling completely lost because of the level or skill needed for the techniques described in the later parts of the book. Re-reading it will probably do me more good than I realize.

After getting through the Spiritual Protection book as much as I could initially, I picked up the Weaving Memory book. This whole process, the thought of honoring ancestors, is a little scary to me. My father, though I loved him dearly, is one that I have no desire to contact or speak to right now in my life. I just managed to oust his horribly negative and judgmental self out of my psyche and I am loathe to communicate with him at all. I don't trust the man... sadly. Through the years of therapy work I have already done, I am about 90% sure he sexually molested me until I was 11 or 12. Everything prior to that is blocked from my memory... so... yeah. Not really wanting to have any sort of communication with him right now. I just figured out how to start picking out the threads of myself that are tainted with him so I really don't want to invite him into my heart or head at all right now. I have managed to get most of him out, but there are still those pieces that are woven into the fabric of me that are hard to identify... and therefore harder to cut out. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be picking those bits out of me for the rest of my life.

Once I realized that I do not need to communicate with or honor my father, I realized that learning to honor my ancestors would open up communication and influence from others. First and foremost, is my mother... who passed away years ago, but who never feels far from me. She played a big role in the building of this person that I am... she off-set all of the negativity of my father, though in a much subtler way. She was in a hospice when she was dieing and I remember being at her bedside the day before she passed... she was sitting up, couldn't move at all hardly, her mouth hung open, the muscles of her face were slack and unable to express any sort of emotion. Her eyes were there, though... *she* was there... I saw her and felt her even though her traitorous body was no longer under her control. I told her that I loved her, I thanked her for making me the person that I am, and I told her that I would see her again. It was the hardest thing I think I have ever had to do. She passed away the next day when no one was there... and it is not surprising. My mother was born in 1923 and was an intensely private person. My love for her grew as I got older and now that she is gone I am endlessly thankful for her influence on me. I have forgiven her for not knowing to protect me from my father... sadly, she didn't know to protect herself from him either. She was raised to think that as long as a man was a good financial provider, everything else just needed to be tolerated. She was pretty much a martyr and really not a great role model for me as a woman, but I believe she meant well and had a good, if misguided, heart.

Other than my mother, I can work to reach out to my paternal grandparents... who I have always wished I new better. And perhaps I can reach out to my maternal grandparents who I never had the privilege to know in life because they were gone before I arrived.

All in all, the whole ancestor thing is a pretty exciting prospect... I just hope that these books and this class help me to benefit from them in some way. Since I am doing this on my own, I worry that I will not be doing these things correctly... but from what I have been reading, there is no "correct" way to do things and if one just applies sincerity and common sense, then it should all go as it should.

Let's hope.
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A great read:
Gods with Agency: Ritual theory for polytheists

Excerpt:
"OK, you’ve decided to have a ritual in which you’re going to call upon a particular God or Goddess, because Their sphere of influence makes sense for your ritual purpose, and you want Their help, or you just figure invoking a God is part of your ritual structure so you’re supposed to pick one. So you dig up some ideas about what They like, and you call Them on in. Assuming that because this is Their sphere of influence, They’re going to help you, even if you’ve never contacted Them before. Assuming that because you’ve brought an offering that the books say They like, that They’re going to accept your offering and work for you. I know, this is 101 stuff, but it still goes on and I’ve seen it recently enough to still feel annoyed by it. It would be analogous to deciding that you want to publish a novel, and it would be really cool if Neil Gaiman would help you accomplish that, because hey, that’s what he does, so you call him up on the phone and invite him over to your house and expect him to not only show up, but knuckle right down to help you with your novel. And then saying, “And we’re serving your favorite kind of pie!” as if that seals the deal. Never mind that he’s never heard of you, and you might need to do a little more preparatory work to, you know, establish a rapport with him, maybe have coffee together or something before you expect him to be showing up at your house to hang out with you and fix your problems."

Excellent point... and part of the very reason I have been so hesitant in this whole thing.

Gods, spirits, powers, wights, whatever... I respect them. I do not feel as if I am in a position to call upon them and make requests or pleas or anything of the sort. Did I do it with Jesus/Christ in my previous Christian religion? Most definitely, yes. But I also had that spirituality as part of my life... in my own way, I spoke to and honored him in the ritual ways that I was raised and taught to do. My requests or pleas made sense and fit in with all of that.

Now here I am, basically a newborn babe in swaddling, choosing to dip my toes in ancient waters that I have never been exposed to. I need to learn how to be, how to act, how to pray, how to honor, how to feel these new gods in my soul and in my heart, how to take this new cosmology into my head and grasp its significance and how it relates to the world we know... it is such an in-depth and complicated bunch of lore and imagery and characters and relationships... it's a whole new universe, a whole new overlay that I need to let settle over the world I have known for so long.

I want it to be second-nature to me... for it to feel not foreign. It will take time and patience and dedication and loyalty... all those things that take time to grow. I am ready.
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So... I have decided to change my daily life a bit.

- I want to include a daily activity that will hopefully lead to me learning to meditate. It is a breathing exercise that I tried... and I managed it, but I have to say that I haven't really noticed anything different. My mind was all over the place and I felt and saw nothing but blankness. Other than I got really weepy after that (but that might be just a reflection of feeling crappy and it's-almost-that-time-of-the-month). I am going to try and do it every day. If I can build a habit, perhaps it will lead to me learning to meditate, which is something I have wanted to do for years and years and haven't been able to.

- I want to start including daily devotional praise of some sort in my life. I have decided to pursue Asatru with my husband and have been reading a lot about the Northern Traditions and the Norse Gods. I found a pagan group here in our area and we have found some new friends that I think are a wonderful fit for us. They actually gave us two framed sayings... one was of the Nine Noble Virtues and the other one is incredibly beautiful... it feels like a prayer to me:

ODIN
Hail, All-Father,
Wise Warrior,
One-Eyed Wanderer,
Come sit at my fire.
Tell me your wisdom stories,
The scenes your missing eye sees.
You who chooses the slain,
Look on my deeds and when my time comes
To run the sky with you,
Let my end be worthy of song.
In the meantime, let me feel
Excitement and poetry and fury and joy,
Let me understand sacrifice,
Think long,
Remember well,
And journey far.
Odin,
Witness this.
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Okay, must clarify... regarding Galina Krasskova, I have to say that what I wrote in my earlier post is not entirely correct. There were some things in her books that caught me off-guard, made me feel that little bit of hesitance or uncomfortableness that made me have to pause and re-read what I just read and even comment to Jason about it. It had to do with her sexual connection to her god Odin... specifically, his "taking" of her. After taking some time to read and click through some links sent to me by a friend and then read some more, Galina is apparently currently into pain or BDSM or dom-sub stuff in relation to her spirituality. She has some connection with a person named Raven Kaldera who is into that sort of thing as well (no doubt because it provides her with aspects of that that aren't easily found elsewhere). It appears that because of her connection to this Kaldera person, her own knowledge and her books and her own ways of being have come under scrutiny by the heathen community and she is not being looked at in a positive light.

For those interested and with time to kill, here are the links I was sent (the last one actually written by the person who wrote the intro in one of her books I read):
1
2
3
4
5

After reading all of that, this was my response to my friend. I am waiting to hear his response:

So.... after spending this entire time reading and linking to other things and reading and reading and reading... it appears that Galina is into pain and dom-sub stuff in relation to her spirituality. Raven Kaldera appears to be a nut-job that provides that outlet for her so she aligns herself with his particular brand of crazy. It also looks like even the authors of her recommended reading books for her Ancestors 101 class are in league with all of that in some way (saw both the Patsouris and Reicher names at different points in all my linking). Okay... thank you for the warning.
Now comes the obvious question... if I found Galina's books and read her stuff and I felt a connection to it (other than her whole "taken by Odin" thing which I remember reading now and actually chuckling and saying to Jason that apparently I will need to have a sexual experience with Odin which he promptly forbid - LOL), and in reading her stuff I actually feel like I am moving in a direction instead of remaining stagnant, what the fuck am I supposed to do when her stuff starts getting weird and going places that I do not want to go? Whose stuff do I read then??
What is really pissing me off about this whole thing is that none of us know if the stuff we are reading is worth a shit or just the ramblings of a nut-job. I see that XXX travels hours away to take part in a ritual with actual animal sacrifice (who knows what else went on that didn't have pictures taken and posted). Who is to say that the people she has aligned herself with aren't just a different brand of nut-job?
I am looking for answers outside of myself, I realize. And that, in itself, may just be a recipe for disaster... but... how else am I supposed to find even those things within myself if I don't reach out and see what I find???


In reflection... I am already feeling a sense of tiredness. Really? Now I get to go through more drama and bullshit but in a different aspect? The SCA has its own brand of drama and politicking and clique-y bullshit... now this, too? But... perhaps I am being naïve to think that when one becomes more seriously involved in any sort of interest that there might be one that doesn't include the bullshit power-plays and mutual discrediting that goes on between people with different ideas. On the one hand, I wonder if Galina knows this is happening and just doesn't care because her way of thinking and connecting with the divine means enough to her that what other people think is irrelevant, which is of course, a point of admiration of her for me... on the other hand, I don't like to see her being disparaged by those in her community because I think she is very intelligent and has a gift. And, then of course, on that mutant third hand, I wonder if I am just duped and she is a fucking whack-job that I need to run as fast as I can the other way from.

Fuck.
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Hello, LiveJournal. I can't believe you have all my memories still saved from 2002 on. I wish I could request a print-out of all my entries from the LJ servers and get it in printed form.

Laugh if you must in your electronic, non-real-entity sort of way and I shall just make a face at you in response. Nice.

Anyway... why am I here? I am at a crossroads, of sorts... a turning point. I have been in this odd place for quite some time and I think that I need to start writing about it. Perhaps that will move it along... perhaps it will be that catalyst that I am always sitting here waiting to occur. And I just sit and sit and it never occurs and eventually I forget what I was waiting for... and then... blankness...... Yeah. Not acceptable.

So... a summary of where I am at in life:
- Very happily married to Jason and have been since 10/1/2005 (the same year that asshole neurologist told me that I have MS)
- Jessica will be 26 next month, has two beautiful babies: Michael, age 5 and Breonna, age 3 (age 4 in two days), Jessica turns out to be an *amazing* mother, but is horrible at being independent
- Christopher is 19, he graduated high school this past spring, and just moved away from Fort Wayne to North Carolina to live with his dad
- Cameron is 18 years old and is a senior in high school, still has Asperger's and it doesn't look like he will progress any farther out of it, he lives primarily with his mother and still comes to visit us every other weekend and on Tuesdays
- Zach is 17 years old and is a junior in high school, plays lacrosse like Christopher did, lives with us full-time, and has what I think is his first *real* girlfriend (not one of those middle-school-giggling things)(her name is Ryan, oddly)
- Kodi, our beautiful Samoyed, has been with us since he was a baby, he will be 9 years old next month
- Jason and I have owned this big (2,500 sq. ft.), two-story house in Fort Wayne, Indiana, since the fall of 2007
- Jason and I tried owning an East of Chicago pizza restaurant in a town that is close to Fort Wayne, it was a huge mistake and it caused many, many financial problems which we are still dealing with, sadly
- I retired in 2008 from the company I have worked at since 1992, thinking that I could be a full-time college student
- I went a year being an English Professional Writing major at IPFW, working in the Writing Center part-time and also for an English professor part-time, I was very, very happy in my soul, but we had so many bills that I had to stop doing that and find work again
- I worked a year at a small health insurance brokerage here in town as an underwriter
- When an opening came up in August 2010, I managed (through the help of a friend) to get rehired by the company I had worked at since 1992 and am still there, I came back as a claims processor (not customer service!) and did that for 3 years, I have just switched positions within the company am just finishing training as a Customer Service Consultant, which is a blend of answering phones and processing claims
- SCA-wise, Jason and I are both very active and I can actually say that we both hold offices, since August 2013 I have been the Chatelaine to the Shire of Shadowed Stars here in Fort Wayne, Jason is a heavy fighter and has fought in his first Crown Tournament this year, he also founded and runs an SCA Household called Raven Company, and is some sort of muckety-muck in the military structure of the SCA heavy fighters here in Indiana (Regional something-or-other), commands the Constellation Legion (Indiana) fighters at Pennsic, yaddayaddayadda. I wore my first Viking garb at Spring Crown Tournament this year (if someone had tried to tell me that I would *ever* wear Viking I would have laughed at them!).
- Spiritually, Jason and I have been searching for something that fits us for many, many years. Organized religion was definitely out. Of all the things that we have read about (Western religions, Eastern religions, new age, etc.), we have settled upon Heathen, specifically Asatru. He found it years ago... I just found it... literally... like in the last two to three months.

And that last point is what has prompted my return to writing in this journal. Today is the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year. What many people believe was originally the pagan celebration that got hijacked and turned into Christmas by the Christians.

I have read some books by Galina Krasskova, specifically "Exploring the Northern Tradition" and "Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner". Jason had the second book that he had purchased some years ago and lent it to me to read. I started reading it and devoured it, reading it cover-to-cover in a day. I haven't read a book, any book, from start to finish in over a decade. I don't know if it is Galina's writing or the fact that she is clearly an intelligent person or the fact that her views on spirituality encompass and respect the individuality that each of us holds when it comes to this sensitive topic... perhaps it is that I share her feelings and views, her tolerances and her impatience with certain behaviors and attitudes so much that I could not find a point in her writing that I disagreed with or thought was BS.

((Ack!! More later - Got to go!))
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Woke up a few hours ago to dreams of old scenes... old pictures... my little brother... my dad... my kids when they were little... I sat up on the edge of the bed for a few minutes with my eyes closed in the dark, still living and breathing that odd reality. I didn't want to let it go. Even after I came downstairs and sat here in silence, my mother was with me again in my head. The real version... I had that comforted feeling left in my heart even when my brain became fully awake. Almost as if the scent of her was still here. I am so lucky to still have her around in some way.

I am sitting here in the back room, listening to the birds who have apparently nested in the top of our chimney... I can hear the feathers of their wings rustling against the metal of the screen that apparently came loose again. I have not been up there to actually see it, but I imagine a collection of sticks and dried leaves nestled into a corner, tiny bits of down feathers caught in them twitching in the breeze. One of the adults fell down the chimney less than a week ago while we sat here in the back room, me filled with a fondness for them and my husband feigning annoyance at the responsibility he now felt to insure its safety. For a few minutes, it was captured behind the glass of the fireplace screen, black eyes watching us in terror as it hopped around on the ash-covered fire grate, waiting to see what we would do. We did what we know works best and it flew out of the wide-open sliding glass door into the screened-in porch and right out that door as well.

In my mind's eye, it flew right back up to our chimney again, bringing with it calmness to its mate and the unspoken knowledge that everything is okay again. Home is home, after all.

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Hello, LJ. Long time, no read! :)

my mood: happy happy

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Just as an update... I am fine. No need for random worrying. I am nothing if not volatile.. volatile and extreme in my mood swings especially when my peaceful numbness is bumped and my wearily unused eyes are forced open to see a world that they don't want to see.

I have to say that I really enjoy reading all of the posts on my Friends page... all the sewing creativity and to-die-for writing and all the living of life.

Thank you. :)

my mood: sleepy sleepy

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Val Day is less than a week away. I bought beautiful fabric for multiple dresses that was on sale.

What have I done in the sewing department? Nothing.

I am terrified of making a pattern and it not working. Why? What is wrong with me???

my mood: confused confused

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... incredibly strong urge to journal instead of work on sewing stuff ... must ... resist ... urge ...

... must ... stop ... thinking of ways to avoid working on my Val Day outfit ... must ... sew ...

::cue the horrific sounds of a woman in pain::

my mood: distressed distressed

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Okay, an update on my calorie reduction plan:

Yesterday went well until I got home at about 10pm, realized that I hadn't had dinner, and went to Taco Bell. Fail... but at least most of the day was good... except for that Kit Kat bar.

Today... all I've had so far is an apple and a half bottle of water. I guess we'll see how the rest of the day goes.

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Well, I've done pretty well today. Had an apple, some sharp cheddar, and about 8 slices of pepperoni with water. Then I left to head to the airport unexpectedly by myself.

I have always loved road trips... love to drive, love to see places. However, the last few years have proven to be a bit limiting for me both physically and mentally.

I am blessed with an incredibly caring and protective husband who will step in and pick up whatever slack I present with at any given moment. And although it is most definitely a blessing when I am stuck with an unpredictable condition like MS, it is also a curse of sorts. The curse being that my insidious, whiney, childish side wants to be coddled and taken care of. You know... the side that you have to cut away from yourself while you are being a mom for 17+ years... especially a single mom. Yeah... that one.

So... as I mentioned earlier... I was presented today with the opportunity to travel to the airport alone to pick up my son. I have not done it alone very often. Normally, hubby goes with me and drives so I never have to figure out how to get there or where to park. He does all the thinking needed and I just get to chatter and giggle and hug my son when he appears.

Today, however, I had to wrangle my fears and just do it on my own. Snowstorm and all... not a bad one, mind you, but a windy, freezing, off-and-on, snowstorm. The first one of the season.

Just a tad stressful... stressful enough that I needed/had-to-have a Kit Kat bar along with my sunflower kernels and water.

Ah, well... could have been worse, right??

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Well... it's the proverbial first day of the rest of my life AND the first day of a new year: 2012. I have decided that I am going to start eating less and stop moving around as if I already assume I am going to be unable to move easily. I will be taking care of several things simultaneously: my weight, my MS, and my general outlook on life.

Today was not a total loss. I did really well in the morning and early afternoon. But I blew it later in the day with too many carbs and way too much food altogether. Right now I am in pain... which I know for me is part of the learning-to-be-disgusted process. I felt so much better earlier in the day and now I am paying the price for my stupidity. Apples, salad, and mini-wheats... must stick to that. Must.

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An LJ friend posted a good question to her journal and it got me to thinking...

The question was: What is my true heart's desire for 2012?

My answer came to mind immediately: To take better care of myself physically and emotionally. I have let this MS depress me to the point of self-destruction. I have gained probably 20 pounds in the last year just eating because i feel sorry for myself. I have surrendered to massive amounts of self-induced stress instead of trying to manage it. If I step back and take a moment to really look at what I have done, I'm actually embarrassed.

I'm pretty disgusted with my behavior... the New Year is the perfect opportunity to start making some changes!

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What a weekend... not one but TWO fussy toddlers in their terrible two's and almost impossible to make happy for more than a millisecond... but they are so adorable and we are so blessed that they and Jess are here...

my mood: thankful thankful

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Well, again I am cleaning and organizing bunches of junk so that I will be free to be creative again. It seems I find reasons and/or ways to prevent myself from doing what I enjoy so that I feel tortured and put upon on some level. It's very odd... since it is so incredibly self-induced.

I swear if someone took off the top of my skull and looked inside my brain would resemble a tattered and dusty yarn ball.

...srsly...

my mood: discontent discontent

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One month exactly since I posted last... mom's still with me. Luv you, mom! :)

my mood: content content

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I just woke up out of a dream. I was talking to my mom on a gravy boat phone. I was running around a store that was having a big sale before Christmas. You know... The kind of store that has all sorts of stuff like housewares and everything else you can imagine. And I was finding all kinds of stuff... things that you only need once in a while... like gravy boats. And mom was asking me to tell her again what everyone needed for Christmas... and I told her that I hadn't told her anything yet and she was just relieved that she hadn't forgotten or misplaced the list. I was telling her about all the cool stuff I was finding... like red ribbon and bows for Christmas and canisters and gravy boats... and she was telling me about how she was cashing something in or getting something sent to her that she was going to have some of it sent to me to help with Jess and the babies and everything... and I told her how I just wanted to make sure she would have everything she needed because she was more important, that we were going to get by no matter what, and that she chose to be with a man who provided for her financially and she should be taken care of... and she assured me that she was fine and that she had everything she needed... and I was doing my usual distracted running around and grabbing things and saying random things to other people while I was on the phone with mom... there was a woman there who I recognized from working holiday hours at another store, I told her I liked her dress... and mom was just there, her voice and presence as clear as a bell over the gravy boat phone I had clutched to my ear...

I love you and miss you, mom. Thank you.

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I feel completely disconnected from life, like a will-o'-the-wisp floating erratically around not knowing which way is up. It kind of works in a way... down is up and sideways is up and up is up... right?

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No earth-shattering insights to share but I just have to post this.

I am sitting on the edge of my bed, about five feet from two open windows, doing my usual checking of internet stuff and watching fog appear and thicken in the air. There was none when the daylight first made its appearance but now it is there and clearly has a pretty good grip on the trees and landscape. It is odd and beautiful all at the same time... mystical and humbling.

I woke this morning to dreams filled with magic... the kind of dreams that fascinate you and make you want to keep your eyes closed so you can be transported back there as soon as possible. It never works, though, and after looking at the clock I realized that I needed to get up and go to work eventually.

I wish there was a copse of trees near me... ones that I could step off my deck and lose myself in, if only for a few minutes...

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I am not in a good mood at all. Haven't been since I woke up from a disturbing dream yesterday morning.

The most enjoyable thing I have got going on right now is leveling up my iPhone games.

.....srsly.........

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Do you remember that feeling you had when you were young that you were just waiting for something amazing to happen?? That it was just around the corner and you just had to try and be as prepared for it as you could be and that things would be so incredibly awesome and all it would take is patience??

I have that feeling right now...... does that mean that something cool is going to happen or that I am just a psycho dreamer???

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So I decided to get the fuck out of the house yesterday... we were supposed to go to an event... then I was talking about working on the house... none of that happened... and my husband is just too fucking negative about the house stuff... it just makes me want to do nothing.

Anyway... I was sitting on the couch in front of the idiot box (yes, that's what I call TV) a little after noon and I decided that I was leaving. By the time I got my jeans and hiking boots on and gathered a few things like my camera and the awesome walking stick that Wendy gave me, it was about 1pm and I left... heading to destinations unknown. I headed north, really wanting to go to Michigan but realistically that wasn't going to happen that late in the day and with no plan of where to go or how to get there.

I decided that I was going to Pokagon State Park... which is about 45 minutes to an hour north of me. Lots of grey clouds and rain spit at me and my car periodically... that's a good thing to me... summer with its oppressive heat depresses me so anything that could bring fall my way is welcome... and I love rain. Everyone can take their brain-washed opinions that it is bad and shove them... rain is a good thing... everything BUT the humans like it... and we are outnumbered.

So... anyway, I get to Pokagon and there is a $5.00 entry fee. And I don't have enough cash in my change purse so I just talk to the DNR girl at the gate. I told her that I just want to sit somewhere and asked her if there was anywhere I could go. She says there is a beach one exit to the south down 69 and gives me directions to it. So I head there. It was nice to just sit in the car with all the windows down and watch the water and the boats as they bob while they are tied to their little docks. I just sat there and longingly stared at the trees that were unreachable but enjoyed myself anyway. The most annoying thing was the fact that I typed up a nice post for LJ while I sat there but since I could not post it (I was out of the data network range for my cell phone carrier) and then the app promptly deleted it. I stupidly thought it would save it like the website does... and, yes, I have filed the complaint/suggestion with the LJ powers-that-be to see if it can be added. Even the option to save the draft would be better than not at all.

my mood: bored bored

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Stressed out beyond words...

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Synopsis - Being in the hotel room all week left me feeling rested and clean and in a good mood. Again, the only bad side is the lack of immersion and that is a HUGE thing for me.

Got to go down to the bog but it was only in a car during the day. Thank goodness it was during the day so I didn't feel the urge to throw myself out of the car and devil-be-damned.

Next year I will have to do the hotel room thing again, but I think we will get one in Butler so that we are right next to the movie theater and a big Walmart. Will be a lot easier to get people to come and hang out for a bit if it's near places we need to go, anyway.

I also want to be able to sleep in camp if I want to. The fact that our tent didn't have some poles kinda hampered us in that regard. We only had the blue tent and the bed was way too friggin' huge and the dome shape made it feel like it was impossible even be able to stand up or move around.

Next year I hope the nights are kinda cool and awesome and the days, too, but if I have to choose it would be the nights. I can get up and take off early to the hotel room and spend the atrociously-hot daytime hours in an air-conditioned room. It will conflict with what my husband needs, though (to be up and on the field by 9:00am during wat week for marshal duties), so it is all subject to change, of course.

I guess we will see.......

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Hubby marshaled the bridge battle today and spent way too much time grabbing and slinging 200+-pound guys out of the center where there was a completely unacceptable press of fighters pushing against each other and not wanting to give an inch. Lots of yelling and arguing. When each side was forced to back up X number of paces there was lots of bitching and complaining on both sides that they moved the Midrealm much less distance than they moved the East, and vice versa, blahblahblah. Keep in mind that Hubby over-extended his elbow less than a week before leaving for Pennsic and the doctors told him not to use it. Yeah.

The annual town trip for a movie-and-restaurant was today. Way too many people involved. So much for intimacy and the feeling of sharing something special with friends. We had to take three vehicles and the logistics of it all was kind of a nightmare. Yeah.

Had fun, though... it was better than sitting in camp or in the hotel room. Silver lining, right??? ; )

And here I lay wide awake in bed in the hotel room... again.

Had some fun at Midnight Madness last night. Got two more lamps for the back porch. They're pretty.

Supposed to go back to camp tonight for Rivenstar's Wine and Cheese Night. The way Hubby is snoozing I wouldn't be surprised if we miss it or at least show up late.

::sigh::

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Sleeping in a hotel room at Pennsic is nice but you really have to be okay with not being totally immersed in the life here. I am most definitely NOT okay with it but have had it force-fed to me like I am a hostage in some third-world country, tied up and held down with a hose jammed down my throat. The perpetrator is, of course, wearing a giant, black, MS outfit and really doesn't give a rat's ass whether I like any of this shit or not.

So... the hotel room is great! : )

The king-size bed is amazing, not just the size of it but the mattress itself. When I first sat on it I was worried because it seemed firm and wasn't a pillow-top like we are used to but we have slept amazingly on it! The only thing that I would change is that we needed more blankets... the air conditioning is exquisite! Oh, and the shower and flushie are (not surprisingly) FABULOUS! : )

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Hubby marshalled the Woods battle and confirmed that we are, as usual, being trounced soundly by the East Kingdom and their allies. I swear all I can remember through the years I have gone to Pennsic is how the Middle Kingdom and our allies always lose because whoever is King at the time of Pennsic is not as well-liked as the East Kingdom's King. That's what this always seems to come down to... who is popular, who makes (and keeps) the best promises, etc. C'est la vie, ya know? Our time will come again... it always does.

I was back in camp early today since hubby had marshalling to do and went into town to do laundry and some grocery shopping.

A post to Facebook today:
"My grocery store items today: Steak, water, grapes, candles, and a card for my man... life is good!"

Hanging out with friends is almost always a relaxing, laughter-filled time. We had steak and corn-on-the-cob for dinner... it was really, really good. I don't know what I would do without my friends who love to cook! I am deeply indebted to them for it and I am at a loss as to how to pay them back sufficiently for their kindness. Maybe sew things for them... if I could ever get myself to sew on a regular basis.

After the town run, hubby and I came back to the hotel room... he slept, I lay there thinking... always thinking. Not sure that anything could ever come of it but I am always trying to figure something out in my head. I have noticed in the last few weeks that I am slowly pushing the overwhelming thoughts about my MS symptoms out of my head. I can't change them... I just need to deal with them as they come and go.

We were back in camp for dinner... then hung out with friends. No alcohol for me tonight. Tonight was Rivenstar's Ice Cream Social and it was in full swing by the time that we left. The medieval band Wolgemut was playing loud and in full force in Darkmoon, one camp over. Lots of familiar faces, people coming and going in the night. Lots of laughter and talking... old guard people that I feel like I have known for ages and then the new faces of the younger ones. Ailish (spelling?) from Mystic Mail came down and I swear she hugged me like five times. It was awesome to see her. You'd think it had been a decade since I her last!

The sky was obscured by clouds for most of the day and all of the evening. I couldn't see the stars at all. I could hear the crickets, locusts, and (I swear) the frogs in the distant darkness. My eyes and heart kept getting pulled into the night... even walking on the battlefield in total darkness would have been awesome. I know that given my current circumstances that isn't the best of ideas, though... so I decided that it was time to leave since I could not take off down to the bog like I wanted to. As luck would have it, just as we got into the hotel the sky opened up again and thunder joined the heat lightning that had been flashing across the sky for most of the evening. It has rained every night for the last few nights... I am glad that we are in a hotel room and not in camp.

Maybe... if I take care of myself this year, lose weight, and start pushing myself to do the things that I am afraid of... maybe I could go down to the bog at night again...

..........maybe.......................

Oh, and Note to Self:
- I only have three total outfits. Three. Hardly acceptable for even a week-long event but I will mix-and-match pieces as I always do to get through it. But... THREE outfits? That's it? When I can sew and make things?? How ridiculous!

my mood: content content

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So last night was really cool. Hanging out around the campfire and talking with friends... lots of laughter. Tequila... four shots this time. I walked from camp all the way to the truck trying not to stare at the sky. The moon was beautiful, too.. and so much humidity that looking up I swear I could see steam rising and rolling like puffy waves above the canvas tents.

I cannot adequately express how much this place means to me. So many memories... so much of who I am wrapped up in this place. So much of the important, meaningful parts. I hope it never goes away and I hope I am always here.

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So three shots of tequila before I left camp and here I sit at the computer for the first time since leaving for Pennsic. Why I had to do shots and then leave camp before it got dark, I don't know. Hubby wanted it, friend wanted it... nostalgia, I guess. Tomorrow night I am going to stay and party with my friends hopefully way into the night. I need my infusion of firelight and darkness. Perhaps I can spend most of the day in the hotel room so that I am not exhausted by the time I want to have fun with my friends.

It's 2am and I am wide awake. The room is cold... too cold for me because the bed is two feet from the air conditioning unit under the window. And since it is Pennsic I didn't bring anything long-sleeved and my favorite blanket (Woobie) is at home... so... here I sit at a desk on my computer.

Pennsic is amazing as usual. I guess I had hoped that I would be able to be more mobile than I actually am during the day. The combination of the heat and the hard, uneven ground is a tough one when your legs and feet won't do what you are expecting them to do. I swear there are times when my legs feel like they are made of solid lead and I can barely get my foot off the ground far enough to move it forward.

I need to go shopping. I need to go walking down by the bog. I need nighttime at Pennsic but not up on the 'Geti... I need it down by the trees and the water. Middle of the night is my favorite time and I am gypping myself of it. Mental block, I suppose. If I convince myself that I am unable to walk to where I want to go then logic tells me that I won't even try. Part of me wants to put my shoes on right now, grab the truck keys, and head out of here and back to camp. Don't even really know where I am going, though, and it's dark. I do much better when I am already there. Getting lost at Pennsic is not like actually being lost... it's just a fortunate turn of events. :)

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OMG... I was dreaming about Pennsic. The place that Pennsic is in my dreams. The same people were there, the camps were set up the same as every other time I have dreamt of that place. The people were the same, just older but we all remembered each other. I dreamt that a merchant that I used to love was back. It was a merchant that had a little place to shop and a little cafe and a little book-reading area and the women were all dressed in Middle Eastern and the guys were all shirtless and looked like they had just come from the showers after fighting. It was late in the day and that atmosphere hung in the air... like everyone was getting ready for the parties and walking around at night. Almost dusk. The sun not completely down and the air cooling off just a bit. Christopher came walking up and the people were sitting with just looked at him and smiled. I said, "This is Christopher. Remember the dark-haired boy I used to bring.". And they all just smiled and gave him that slight nod as if it was good to see him again. Wendy was there, of course... just someone there, I don't think she actually spoke. And Jeremy. And Sigulf. And the Pennsic people that live in that place in my dreams. All there, as if never going anywhere and just happy that we were part of it again.

Good god, Pennsic, I have missed you.

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Did you ever wonder why the heck you are being so damn meticulous when the end product is just going to be used by guys who really don't care what something looks like?? :(

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my mood: rushed rushed

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Therapy junk - WARNING: Cuss words!Collapse )

my mood: contemplative contemplative

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Okay, here's an idea of what is in my fabric stash. A long time ago I worked at Jo-Ann Fabrics. In fact, I got the job when I was pregnant with my daughter... who is now 23 years old. It was my first serious job. I became an assistant manager, then a manager. You get the picture.

I am going through my fabric and I find this 5 or 6-yard swath of fabric that is adorable but I have no idea why on earth I would have bought so much. I always bought cute fabrics with the idea that I would make her dresses or whatnot but....



Five or six yards of that??? Since my GRANDDAUGHTER is now 1 year old... I could seriously make the girl Easter dresses from now all the way through her elementary school years.

'Nuff said. ;)

my mood: optimistic optimistic

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It's amazing how much beautiful fabric I have. I have been hoarding/storing fabric in various tubs and boxes throughout the years and then when we bought this house in 2007 and I took over the smallest bedroom for my sewing room, I stuffed all of that fabric into the shelved closet. No organization, hardly any neatness to speak of.

My husband tells me last night that he has been invited to fight at Pennsic with a house that he would like to become a part of and that they told him to wear a black fighting tunic if he has one.

................

He leaves in about a week and a half.

................

So not only do I dream of garb-making but I am going over and over in my head about this tunic. That would add one more thing that I would like to get done before he leaves: two marshall's tabards and now two fighting tunics. All for the hubby who I love desperately and want to please.

I have woken up repeatedly through the night thinking on this and decided at 2:30am that it was just ridiculous to get up yet. I tried to go back to sleep and just laid there tossing and turning and thinking. So... I got up at 3:30am and started going through the fabric in the closet.

Not only did I find a black fabric suitable for a last-minute fighting tunic but I have rediscovered all the beautiful stuff that I have. Go me. :)

my mood: sleepy sleepy

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Well, a bit of an update before I am dragged off kicking and screaming to my day job -

Since seeing the amazing links that the folks over at sca_garb gave me, I have decided that the strips of fabric are destined to be baldrics so that we have extra marshal stuff for guys to wear if they appear at a battle unprepared or are unwittingly drafted into marshal service at the last minute. I think that is a noble use for a project blunder, don't you?

This is what I think I will make the tabards look like (though different colors, obviously):

Link #1

And this one is cool because it has more of the documentation and supplements it with some period paintings:

Link #2

my mood: cheerful cheerful

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Okay, I need to vent for a bit. I spent the biggest part of yesterday preparing the marshall's tabards for completion. A tabard is exactly what you might expect it to be: a front and back of fabric with a neck-hole in it. They are not joined at the sides. From what I remember the guys usually belt them over their fighting tunics and that serves to constrain them so they don't flap in the wind.

My husband has been granted this SCA marshalling title... Constellation Regional Marshal, which is some muckety-muck thing in the marshal world. Constellation is the SCA region that we live in (Indiana). Because he has been bestowed this title, he has asked me for a marshal's tabard with the crossed swords on the front and back.



More here...Collapse )

::le sigh::

</venting>

my mood: frustrated frustrated

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So... I am not quite to a "dress" diary yet but I do have a picture diary of sorts for the stuffed elephant and blanket that I just finished if you're interested.

My Project DiaryCollapse )

Now on to the fighting tabards!

my mood: happy happy

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OMG! zombiefruit was right!!! Almost done! Just need to find some buttons for eyes and I think I want to embroider a heart and the date on its bottom so that little Breonna will always know when I gave it to her....

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Okay... I am trying to finish this @#$%^$! elephant to go with little Breonna's blanket and I am at this INCREDIBLY frustrating part!!!!

Click here for picsCollapse )

Is it just me or does the pinned-together nightmare not look like the thing from Alien or Predator??? How in the WORLD is it supposed to become the cute thing on the top???????????

Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(
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So I am home sick today. Yesterday I had therapy and it was one of those "good sessions" that my therapist has always told me leave the brain quivering and exposed when you are used to it having that protective shell over it. Waves of nausea keep washing over me, the wisps of a headache keep coming and going, and the tears keep threatening.

Today is the dawning of a couple of things:

1. The usual MS StuffCollapse )

2. But more importantly: The realities of what my stupid dad actually wasCollapse )

So.... yeah.................... home today.............. can't sleep...... too much to think about...... too much to fix............... to much to do..................................
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What a massively unproductive weekend sewing-wise. Actually ZERO stitches completed. Bleh. Now that the hectic holiday weekend is over things should be changing for the better.

Got to attend my beautiful grandson's 3rd birthday party, though!!! :)

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MS StuffCollapse )

A few of the SCA women are coming over today to have a sewing/stitch'n'bitch day at my house while the guys go to fighter practice. The hubby is bringing in a long table from the garage that I will be setting up for multiple sewing machines. I need to clean the bathroom and dust and vacuum this morning but other than that I think the house is kinda ready. I wish I had the money to have had the rugs cleaned and I really need to mop the linoleum areas but I think it will be okay. I just need to try and not stress about it.

We went to a friend's house last night to watch and shoot off fireworks. We had fun and the amazing heat lightning that filled the sky was incredibly beautiful. I didn't bring a camera, thank goodness, since the rain started a little right before we left. The raindrops were cold and the air was warm. Wendy put up an umbrella since I was freezing and the odd thing was that under the umbrella the warm air dried my shirt so I was no longer cold. And the air was pushing *down* on the umbrella instead of the usual way that wind seems to push umbrellas up or to the side. Was very cool to be there and smile and laugh with friends. The boys (Jason included) spent the entire time being pyromaniacs and shooting off their own stuff while hanging out with all the men who were shooting off the big stuff.

Here's some iPhone pics of the fireworks that I captured if you want to see them.Collapse )
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MS stuff...Collapse )

Today is the day that I get the house ready for the bevy of SCA fighters and the women who love them tomorrow. I will be redoing the family room to make it workable for a long table and multiple sewing machines, places to cut fabric, the iron and ironing board easily accessible. The women will be sewing while the men go to fighter practice and then after that we are having a cookout for everyone.

It will ne nice to sew something and be around people who sew!! : )

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